Sunday, March 29, 2009


Wow, my face was swollen that day. Here is a letter I wrote to Samuel just 2 weeks after his birth. Reading it now, I feel like I was almost handling it better at that point only 2 weeks after the fact. I think I was still in shock, not really feeling the full weight of all I had lost. It is a bit of a novel, but it will give you a picture into my heart and all I felt that day.

It seemed strange to write him a letter knowing he would never read it. But I always write a letter to my children after they are born, and I felt such a strong need to tell him of my love for him. I told him that day over and over again how much I loved him and I know he felt it in my womb, but for some reason I still felt the need to write it.

My Dear Son Samuel,
I feel kind of funny writing this letter to you knowing you are in Heaven with our Savior. I know you are at perfect peace and are perfectly healthy and happy. But there is so much that I want you to know since you are not here with us for me to tell you in person. Oh how we longed for you to be a part of our family. We prayed for you for months before you were ever conceived. Even the kids prayed for a baby every night. When we finally knew we were expecting you we all rejoiced. I had prayed for another child and God had answered that prayer. We were all so happy.

Samuel, we loved you from the minute we knew you were a part of our family. I loved carrying you. Your brothers, sister and papa loved talking to you, feeling you kick, wiggle and hiccup and we all loved singing to you every night... Oh my baby, Oh my baby, Oh my baby you’re precious to me. I love you, I love you, I love you, my family you’re precious to me. Having you inside of me was precious to all of us. Samuel, I loved feeling you grow inside of me, I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything. It was a precious 9 months. I wasn’t too sick in the beginning and just loved being pregnant with you. You did so many things with us Samuel, nightly walks around the seminary community, packing and unpacking many boxes, moving to OK, trips to WI and TX, the kids painting your home ( my belly), taking runs with Mrs. Boggs and so much more. We loved having you be a part of all of our experiences and we so looked forward to experiencing life with you. We had so many plans for you. Your brothers and sister prayed for you every morning and just were almost beside themselves waiting for you to join us.

Your due date came and went and in fact on that Tuesday night of my due date, I felt you moving around so much. I remember laughing at how active you were. The next morning was when I realized I wasn’t sure if I had felt you move lately at all. I had gotten up, got the kids breakfast, vacuumed and then started to think about it. I didn’t want to over react so I took a shower and did Science with Louis and Caleb. Then I called your dad and asked him to come home. I was scared and drank some really cold OJ and laid down. Ruth the midwife had been in contact with me. Little did I know that you had probably been with your creator and God for a while by then. Even now, I just wish I could’ve done something to help you. I still feel a little guilty and very bad about that, we didn't have any clue that there was anything wrong. I know that this was God’s plan for your life, I just never thought that the time I carried you inside me was all I would have with you. Your dad came home and we headed to Dr. K's office. He thought he heard your heartbeat which was really mine beating very fast, but he sent us to the hospital for a Non Stress Test just to check on you. I thought it was strange that I still hadn’t felt you move.

We figured everything was fine so I sent your dad with Caleb and Jo to look for shoes at goodwill. When the nurse couldn’t find your heartbeat on the monitor and she was so vague and distant I knew something was wrong. Her coldness made me feel even worse. Eventually an hour or so later they had some ultrasound techs come in and they wouldn’t tell us anything. I knew you were gone and was pressing them for information as soon as they could give it to me. As a mom, I felt it was unfair and wrong that they wouldn't tell me, the person who was carrying you, what was going on. The nurse came in 15 minutes later saying there wasn’t any cardiac activity that they could see. Oh Samuel, I was just devastated to know you were gone. Your dad and I told the other kids and they all were so sad and cried a lot. They went to spend the night with the Tiews. Ruth the midwife came and so did Dr. K to discuss what we would do. Dr. K did another ultrasound and your body had moved from a head down position to a transverse position.I was then told that I would have to wait until you turned head down to deliver you. I was told I could wait up to 3 weeks. I knew that there was no way I could do that. I figured they would just do a C-section since you were already gone. They said that wasn't an option, that it was healthier for me to let labor happen naturally. I knew that full well, being a natural childbirth educator, I just figured these were different circumstances. I knew there was no way, knowing you were gone, that I could go home and just wait... we needed to have you now. The midwife said if we would have had to leave, she would have helped us find a way to come back. We could break my water and then they would have to deliver. Knowing that your 4 siblings knew you were already in heaven and I just knew emotionally for them and me I couldn’t do it. Praise God when Dr K. turned back on the ultrasound to try and turn you, you were back head down. That was a small miracle to us and they decided to induce me right away.

I did lots of crying that night. I just didn’t see how I could deliver you knowing that you weren’t alive anymore. Ruth just kept telling me that God would give me the grace to handle it bit by bit and each little step at a time. That was so true. Your dad was so supportive; he laid in bed with me and just snuggled with me. I felt so alone and just needed to feel him by me. They had the pitocin cranked as high as it could go all night, it wasn't hard to handle and it wasn’t doing a whole lot. At 7:00 am I had 2 new nurses come in to see me, Marilyn and Andi. Your dad had just stepped out to go to the bathroom and when they introduced themselves I completely lost it. I was just overcome with grief and despair. I was making noises I have never heard myself make and Marilyn just laid her hands on me and prayed for me. It brought me such comfort and peace.

Shortly after that my water broke and then things started to move. At around 7:30 I was still 2-3 cm. By 8:30 I was 6-7 cm. Dr. K came in and broke the fore bag of water at around 9:15 and said he would come back in 10 minutes. When he came back I was complete and could push. I started crying, just knowing I wasn’t ready to meet you and not have you be alive and healthy. I wanted to spend a full life with you, not have it already be over. I asked your dad to pray for me that I needed strength and courage. I couldn’t have done it without the Lord’s help. You were what I was waiting for for so long and it wasn’t at all happening like I had planned or wanted. I only pushed three times and at 9:40 out you came, all 9 lb. 2 oz. of you. You were big and beautiful... just not breathing. The Dr. said right away that the cord was tight around your neck. I was praying for a miracle and just asking God to breathe life into you. That wasn’t his plan.

The crazy thing is when you were born everyone else cried, Greg, Ruth, Dr. K, the nurses, and I didn’t. I was so happy to see you. When they put you on my chest I just looked at you and held you. You were absolutely perfect. God made you perfect and I loved every bit of you. I was amazed by how beautiful you were created by Him. Your dad and I held you and looked over every inch of you. You were just a treasure. Your brothers Louis, Caleb, and Elijah and your sister Anna, and Mrs. Tiews came in right away to see you and hold you as well. Oh they cried when they saw you and just loved holding you. Everyone wanted to keep holding you. You had perfect rosy red lips. You looked a lot like Anna as a baby; you had the Neumann nose and definitely your father’s toes. You were just precious. It was amazing to see Anna’s little mommy heart already there; she just kept asking to hold you and would kiss you on the lips. All the kids loved you dearly. We had a photographer come in to take pictures of us all together. Even though you would never live here on earth outside of my womb you were and are our child, loved and prayed for by so many. We will cherish those photos of our whole family together. You will always be missing from our future family photos. I am so thankful for the beautiful photos that we have of you. We held you, snuggled you, and loved on you for about 4 ½ hours and then it was getting to the point that if we didn’t say goodbye to you soon, I knew I wouldn’t be able to do it at all. We handed your precious body to the nurse and she wrapped you up and put you in the bassinet.

Oh Samuel, my heart aches for you like nothing I have ever felt before. I am forever changed by losing you here on earth. I feel so empty and alone at times. I miss you kicking and wiggling around inside of me and yet my arms ache with an emptiness I never knew existed. I would do anything just to hold you again and to have you here with us. I just wish I had the opportunity to tell you over and over again how much I love you. This is the hardest thing I have ever been through and sometimes the pain is so intense I wonder how I will survive. I just plain miss you my son. I know that you are safe in the arms of Jesus, but in my own humanness I want you in my arms. Truthfully I know you are much better off where you are, but it is still so hard. Two weeks have passed, but the pain is still just as strong. I know that God will grow us all through this and will work good out of your life. I have seen it and heard from others already how your short precious life was used. My faith has always been strong, but right now it takes all of me just to proclaim that I still believe and I do. I will continue to trust in the one that created you and blessed us with your precious short life. You will forever be remembered, thought of, talked about and treasured. We will keep your precious memory alive with us through pictures and stories about how much we loved you Samuel. I thank God for your life son; I will look forward to our reunion in Heaven one day. Oh how I long to be there with you Samuel in God’s presence. I am still in shock that one of my own is there worshipping our creator right now. Samuel please know how much I loved being your mommy, loved carrying you, talking to you, feeling you move and grow inside of me, how much I love you my precious, sweet son. My heart just continues to burst with love for you. You were and will always be so very special to all of us.

Mom, Dad, Louis, Caleb, Anna, and JoJo


Ryane said...

Thank you Sara. Thank you so much for sharing your letter with me. I am so grateful for your openness and willingness to share details of my special cousin with me. I love you more than you will ever know and I look to your strength as such an example.
How amazing it will be when we are in Heaven and join with Samuel in praising our healing, and hopeful Savior, our restorer!!!!!!

Rachel said...

Thank you for sharing that with us Sara. To cry while reading this made me feel close to you, despite the physical distance that separates us. I so understand what you said about being in shock. How else would we have survived those first few weeks? And now we've survived 5+ months (almost 6 for me). Our Pastor spoke this morning on fear and about the disciples in the boat with Jesus sleeping during a storm. They cried out to Jesus to wake up because they were going to die in the storm. How utterly wrong they were! How could they die when Jesus was right there with them in the storm? He's with us right now during our storms! Praise God!

Samantha said...

Sara, thank you for sharing your letter. I thought about you all day yesterday and today being 5 months ago when Samuel went to Jesus' arms. My tears just keep coming. Sara, your faith, your testimony of this excruciatingly difficult trial is truly amazing. Praying for you friend as our faithful God brings you through this journey. Much love, prayers, and hugs to you dear friend. I love you! Sam

Katy said...

This is the first time I have read your blog, even though Dave has been telling me to do it for a while now. I am glad it was today. Thank you for sharing your letter to Samuel with us, it was beautiful.

PrincessSedai said...

Sara, I found your blog off a comment on MckMama's blog. I am so deeply touched by your words and your heart and your openness. You will now be in my prayers, you and your beautiful family. I love that the internet has in its own way built a circle of godly woman, drawing on each other's faith. Thank you for opening your own pain into that community. I look forward to following your family and your blog in the future.
God's blessing, Rebecca

Corie said...

Thinking of you often. Praying for you as these dates are so hard to approach and then leave behind with nothing coming with you. Sorry friend. Sending hugs.

Corie said...
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Pink Slippers said...

Found your blog through Stellan's blog comments.
I have read your post and I am CRYING a whole lot.
I'm SO sorry!

Pink Slippers said...

Wow we do have some things in common. That is so neat. This is my first year homeschooling. It has been up and down but only 45 more days left for us. Yeah! Then summer. I wouldn't have it any other way though. We are pioneering a church from scratch sent out of Santa Monica, CA. We have about 40-60 depending on if everyone is in church or not. We are non-denominational Christian church. Pentecostal believing.
I have added you to my list to keep up to date with your family adventures.

Shannon said...

Hello Sara. I came across your name from "My Charming Kids" and saw your post to Jennifer about your baby, Samuel. I lost a baby we named Samuel back in 1999. He was 37 weeks gestation and died because his cord was around his neck. We have similar stories and it struck me. I had to just pop in and say hello and let you know there is someone out here who understands. There will always be one voice missing in your home, but God will make a way when there seems to be nothing He can do.

Shannon said...

Oh, and I homeschool in Texas!